Roya Amini-Naieni is a biohacker going into her first year at Harvey Mudd College. She worked on University of Washington's International Genetically Engineered Machines team (iGEM) for over two years and served on their leadership team for one. The first year she worked with her team on a paper based biosensor for theophylline with hopes to modify it to detect shellfish toxins in the future. She also worked with her team to reduce the amount of time and effort needed to maintain cultures expressing metabolic pathways with colored signals through the creation of an affordable image analysis system and the modification of the violacein pathway as a proof of concept.
Roya is the co-founder of the first high-school iGEM team in Washington state and the first community lab team for high-schoolers, iTesla-SoundBio, which is working on transferring genes responsible for producing enzymes that break down PCB toxins from hard to culture bacteria to E.coli.
She was also featured on Seattle's March for Science, People of Science video series to share her iGEM team, support scientists, and help humanize science in this age of political uncertainty. She was first drawn to synthetic biology as a high-school sophomore, attending the biodiscussion groups hosted by HiveBio lab, and is really eager and excited to meet more people involved in the movement.